Exploring Native Woodland Grasses and Glades with Rod Simmons

posted Sep 19, 2014, 9:59 PM by Marty Nielsen

The Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society invites you to the following field trip, part of our 2014 series “Celebrating the Grasses of VA”:

Exploring Native Woodland Grasses and Glades with Rod Simmons

A walk at Bear Island and the Gold Mine Tract


Saturday, September 27

10:00 am to 2:00 pm


Location:  Along the Potomac Gorge near Potomac and Great Falls, Maryland


RSVP:  https://vnps20140927.eventbrite.com 


VNPS programs are free and open to the public, but registration for field trips is required due to limited space.



We’ll walk a portion of Berma Road to the southeast trail head into the Gold Mine Tract and up to the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River and the Virginia highlands.  Then along the ridgeline of the southwest-facing, forested bluffs where we should see a variety of woodland grasses.  Near Great Falls, we’ll come down out of the Gold Mine Tract and take either Berma Road or the C & O Canal Towpath and Billy Goat Trail along and through Bear Island.


In addition to grasses, both the Gold Mine Tract and Bear Island offer some of the greatest diversity of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in the region, as well as uncommon to rare plant communities and scenic views.


Note: This field trip follows Rod’s lecture on the same topic, which will be held at Green Spring Gardens at 7:30 pm on Thursday September 11.


Rod is a plant ecologist, with a background in biology and geology, who has extensively surveyed the flora and natural communities of the mid-Atlantic region, especially the inner coastal plain and piedmont of the greater Washington, D.C. area.  He is a Research Collaborator with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; a member of the Virginia Botanical Associates; and works closely with the Virginia and Maryland natural heritage programs.  He is a past president of the Botanical Society of Washington, a past president of the Maryland Native Plant Society, and a current board member of the Maryland Native Plant Society and the Virginia Native Plant Society.  He is the Natural Resource Manager for the City of Alexandria.



For more information about our field trip location, visit:

·        http://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/upload/GF-Map-Page-1.pdf

·        http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/maryland_dc/placesweprotect/pdf-bear-island-brochure.pdf

·        http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Publiclands/Natural_Areas/PotomacGorge.asp


For questions, please email: vnps.pot@gmail.com.